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Airtel to buy 4.7% stake in Indus Towers from Voda for 2,388 crore

Airtel had last month entered into an agreement with Vodafone on one condition that the amount paid shall be inducted by Vodafone as fresh equity in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) and simultaneously remitted to Indus Towers to clear VIL's outstanding dues. File photo (Bloomberg)Premium
Airtel had last month entered into an agreement with Vodafone on one condition that the amount paid shall be inducted by Vodafone as fresh equity in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) and simultaneously remitted to Indus Towers to clear VIL's outstanding dues. File photo (Bloomberg)

The block deal would be executed through Euro Pacific Securities, a Vodafone group entity that holds 7.59% stake in Indus Towers.

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Bharti Airtel said Friday that it will buy 4.7% stake in Indus Towers from Vodafone Group Plc at 187.88 per share, aggregating to 2388 crore, upon fulfillment of conditions that the proceeds are used by the group to clear dues to the tower provider.

"Pursuant to the referred Agreement dated February 25, 2022 entered inter alia into between certain affiliates of Vodafone Group Plc (including Euro Pacific Securities Ltd.), the Company and Nettle, the transaction shall be executed at INR 187.88 per share basis the agreed price formula in the Agreement, aggregating to INR 23,880.62 million, upon fulfillment of all conditions precedents as agreed by the parties under the agreement," the carrier said in a statement to BSE.

Airtel had last month entered into an agreement with Vodafone on one condition that the amount paid shall be inducted by Vodafone as fresh equity in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) and simultaneously remitted to Indus Towers to clear VIL's outstanding dues.

The block deal would be executed through Euro Pacific Securities, a Vodafone group entity that holds 7.59% stake in Indus Towers.

Currently, Vodafone holds about 28% in Indus Towers while that of Bharti Airtel is close to 42%.

Indus Towers, formerly Bharti Infratel Ltd, is a leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure. It deploys, owns and manages telecom towers and communication structures for various mobile operators.

The firm's portfolio of over 1,84,748 telecom towers, makes it one of the largest tower infrastructure providers in the country with presence in all 22 telecom circles. Indus Towers caters to all wireless telecommunication service providers in India.

Indus Towers posted about 16% rise in consolidated profit at 1,570.8 crore in the three months ended December 2021 while revenues stood at 6,927 crore during the same period.

Indus Tower merged with Bharti Infratel in November 2020. The company's total mobile tower base increased to 1,84,748 from 1,75,510 on a year-on-year basis.

It may be recalled that the telecom service providers got a shot in the arm with the government, last year, approving a blockbuster relief package that included a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100% foreign investment through the automatic route.

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